Woodstown High graduate Ta’riq Thomas, a senior at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, became a rare NCAA Division 3 winner at the Penn Relays Friday when he leaped an outdoor school-record 23-11 to win the college long jump by less than an inch over a field of Division 1 athletes.
Thomas, a five-time All-America, won by three-quarters of an inch over Cristian Constantin of Penn, who jumped 23-10 1/4 on his final attempt.
Thomas jumped 23 feet on all six of his attempts. He opened with a 23-1 3/4, then hit his 23-11 on his second attempt. He finished a very consistent series with 23-6 1/4, 23-5 1/2, 23-10 1/2 and 23-7 1/4.
Thomas became the first Delaware Valley athlete ever to win an event at the Penn Relays. Thomas and DVU teammate John Jones, who was 10th at 23-0 1/2, were the only Division 3 athletes in the field.
Thomas broke the school record of 23-10 set in 1985 by Brandon Newell. His mark ranks fourth in NCAA Division 3 this year. His previous outdoor PR was a 23-9 1/2 at a meet last weekend at Moravian College in Bethlehem.
Thomas does have an indoor PR of 24 feet, set this past season in a meet at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa.
Thomas, who also ran on DVC’s 400-meter team Friday, is scheduled to compete in the triple jump Saturday at Penn.